Land of Many Gifts – Introduction

Land of Many Gifts – Introduction

Focusing on village life in the historic era, the Land of Many Gifts gallery showcases the numerous contributions of women within Plains societies. Learn about the prosperous gardens owned by the women of the Upper Missouri River tribes. Whether a young child or a grandparent, every person in a village has an important role, seen in Children and Elders. Observe how Women’s Art is about more than artistic beauty, it also has important social and economic functions.

The centerpiece of the gallery is an Absaroke Ashtáale (Crow Lodge or Tipi), one of the most beautiful and practical shelters ever invented. The voice of Alma Snell, Absaroke, granddaughter of Pretty Shield, speaks about life in a lodge, and Louella Johnson, Absaroke, sings lullabies.

The Plains Indian Museum's Land of Many Gifts Gallery

The Plains Indian Museum’s Land of Many Gifts Gallery

Follow the seasons as you journey through the Land of Many Gifts



⊕ Fall

⊕ Winter

Land of Many Gifts: Spring – Introduction

Land of Many Gifts: Spring – Introduction

In the beginning, we Hidatsa [and] Crow were one and the same people. —Absaroke (Crow) Origin Story

In the late 1700s, the Crow people became nomadic hunters, separating from their semi-sedentary relatives, the Hidatsa.

In the spring, when the Hidatsa people broke winter camp and returned to their gardens on the upper Missouri River, the Crow went to follow game in the mountains and on the Plains.


MS 165 Thomas B. Marquis Collection. PN.165.1.170

[Screens 2 and 3 of Introduction have “Petzoldt Collection” listed as image credit but no number so don’t know which images they are within the collection; replace with something appropriate if necessary]

Land of Many Gifts: Summer – Introduction

Land of Many Gifts: Summer – Introduction

Corn and weeds alike grew rapidly now, and we women of the household were out with our hoes daily, to keep ahead of the weeds…. Always in every garden during the growing season, there would be someone working or singing. —Maxidiwiac (Buffalo Bird Woman), Nuxbaaga (Hidatsa), 1917

In the summertime, when it’s getting hot down there, we come up here to these mountains. —Joe Medicine Crow, Absaroke (Crow), 1999

Buffalo Bird Woman quotation credit: Frederick L. Wilson. Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1987. Read by Jeanne Eder.

Missing Images:

[Gilbert Wilson, 1912. Minnesota Historical Society. ]

[Petzoldt Collection; no further i.d. listed]